Defending Super Bowl champion Denver Broncos held off Cam Newton and the Panthers in a 21-20 win on the NFL’s Opening Night. Trevor Siemian looked poised and comfortable in the pocket, and led the Denver in a very balanced offensive attack. Siemian completed 18 of 26 passes, with 178 yards and one touchdown pass to CJ Anderson. Siemian’s lone blunders were throwing two interceptions, and taking two sacks on plays he should have just tossed the pigskin out of bounds. Anderson added 92 yards and a rushing touchdown on 20 carries. Guess who scored the first touchdown of the 2016 season? Fullback Andy Janovich, the rookie sixth-round selection out of the University of Nebraska.
The Philadelphia Eagles topped the Cleveland Browns in Carson Wentz’ NFL debut, and were one of just three teams to pull off a double-digit victory in Week 1.
Oakland Raiders Head Coach Jack Del Rio proved the size of his manhood on Sunday, not hesitating in his decision to attempt a two-point conversion, down 34-35 with 47 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter. Derek Carr and Michael Crabtree connected on a lob pass in the corner of the end zone for what proved to be the deciding score in New Orleans.
Seattle barely squeaked by Miami with a 12-10 victory despite heavily favored odds to win by nearly two touchdowns. Christine Michael out-snapped Thomas Rawls and was more effective. With news Rawls get the starting nod in Week 2, the backfield situation is precarious at best for fantasy owners.
The New England Patriots beat the Arizona Cardinals 23-21 despite missing Tom Brady due to suspension, and Rob Gronkowski while he nurses a hamstring injury. The Cardinals ran into a good team early in the season. Don’t be shocked in Arizona makes a deep playoff run.
Green Bay looked strong as road favorites against Jacksonville. A trimmer Eddie Lacy averaged 4.4 yards per carry, thanks to a big 28-yard dash. Jordy Nelson returned to the field for the first time in over a year, but didn’t quite look himself. The No.1 receiver hauled in six of nine targets, but struggled to find much open space. On the other side, Jaguars starting running back Chris Ivory was hospitalized hours before the game with an undisclosed, non-football medical condition.
In one of the most exciting games last week, the Kansas City Chiefs overcame a 17-point deficit to top the San Diego Chargers in overtime. Quarterback Alex Smith proved he’s much more than a game manager, completing 34/48 passes for 363 yards, and scrambling into the end zone for the game’s final score. Spencer Ware may hang onto the role as lead tailback when Jamaal Charles returns. Ware carried the rock 11 times for 70 yards and a score, while adding seven receptions for 129 yards. The Chargers lost Keenan Allen for the rest of 2016 as the stout wideout tore his ACL on a non-contact play.
Baltimore, Houston, Tampa Bay, Detroit, Minnesota, and Cincinnati recorded victories over Buffalo, Chicago, Atlanta, Indianapolis, Tennessee, and the New York Jets, respectively.
Despite strong debuts from Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliot, the Cowboys lost their opener 20-19 at the hands of Eli and the Giants. Congratulations to Victor Cruz on playing his first NFL game in 700 days. Oh yeah, he also caught the game winning touchdown pass with just over six minutes left in the fourth quarter.
Hours later on Monday Night Football a bloodbath ensued as the Pittsburgh Steelers romped the Washington Redskins 38-16 behind stellar performances from Ben Roethlisberger, Antonio Brown, and DeAngelo Williams.
While I will toot my own horn for picking the San Francisco 49ers over the Los Angeles Rams (LA Rams still sounds weird, right?), I certainly did not expect the Niners’ defense to pitch a shutout. Blanking the Rams by 28 is impressive given the recent retirements of Chris Borland and Patrick Willis in the linebacking corps, and a precipitous matchup against top-tier running back Todd Gurley. Gurley rushed 17 times for just 47 yards, while Case Keenum stumbled to a 5.0 QBR. Some fans are already calling for first-overall pick Jared Goff to get the start under center.
In case you live under a rock, get up to speed by checking out our preseason divisional previews. Just click the desired link below:
Rankings for each week will be posted every Thursday around noon, and will be based on a composite score of each voter’s individual score. The rankings for Week 2 were completed by Jake DeWitt and TJ Lovenduski. Enjoy!
|Team||Jake||TJ||Week 2 Ranking||Week 1 Ranking||Change|
Stats courtesy of ESPN.com